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Director’s Letter, November 2015

Updated Jul 20, 2022

From the Director

In the weeks after I was named the Detroit Institute of Arts' eleventh director, my wife, Alexandra, and I received a myriad of support, affection, and friendship. We are overwhelmed by the outpouring and are very grateful to the DIA staff, volunteers, members, patrons, and people on the street who have warmly approached us with their kind words and gestures.

I am deeply honored to lead this institution, and I am humbled by this appointment. After years filled with a variety of hardships, the DIA is in an ideal position to secure a brilliant and stable future. To have this opportunity is simply a dream come true, and the responsibility and work ahead of us will be substantial and fascinating.

On the day following the announcement of my new position, I met with the staff in the museum's Lecture Hall for an open Q&A session. Listening to my team was an enriching experience and confirmed the love and commitment to the institution that exists among employees. We touched upon many matters, from my possible interest in bowties to my hopes for the DIA's future. One of the questions focused on what I aspire to accomplish during my tenure as director. So here is my vision for the DIA that I hope will exist the day I leave: I would like to see a museum that supports a mission which is flexible and quickly responsive to the demands of all our communities and has a measurable impact on the lives of our citizens. This will help keep the DIA, its collections, exhibitions, and programs relevant and accessible to all, as our world, interests, and society evolve. I would like to walk into the museum's offices and extraordinary galleries and see that the DIA has become the mirror of our diverse society. The benefits of diversity and inclusion--of everyone working together to consider different voices, perspectives, and backgrounds--are immense and waiting for us to embrace them.

I hope the DIA will establish a clearly defined, dynamic role in our city, our region, and beyond. I envision the DIA as the main square for our community, with transformed grounds that will welcome everyone into a building featuring an interior that will harmoniously relate to its exterior. I believe that people's natural inclination is to come together and that the DIA will provide an extraordinary framework for all. By keeping our DIA relevant and an inspiring place to our diverse communities, we will achieve financial stability with a healthy and large operating endowment.

This is not a dream but an opportunity. We only have to do our jobs the best we can and help each other make the DIA a vital institution for all members of our community. We--staff, volunteers, members, donors, and county residents--are the caretakers of one of the best museums in the world, located in an extraordinary city and region. I look forward to working with each of you in the coming years. I truly believe the best days for the DIA are ahead of us.

In the weeks after I was named the Detroit Institute of Arts' eleventh director, my wife, Alexandra, and I received a myriad of support, affection, and friendship. We are overwhelmed by the outpouring and are very grateful to the DIA staff, volunteers, members, patrons, and people on the street who have warmly approached us with their kind words and gestures.

I am deeply honored to lead this institution, and I am humbled by this appointment. After years filled with a variety of hardships, the DIA is in an ideal position to secure a brilliant and stable future. To have this opportunity is simply a dream come true, and the responsibility and work ahead of us will be substantial and fascinating.

On the day following the announcement of my new position, I met with the staff in the museum's Lecture Hall for an open Q&A session. Listening to my team was an enriching experience and confirmed the love and commitment to the institution that exists among employees. We touched upon many matters, from my possible interest in bowties to my hopes for the DIA's future. One of the questions focused on what I aspire to accomplish during my tenure as director. So here is my vision for the DIA that I hope will exist the day I leave: I would like to see a museum that supports a mission which is flexible and quickly responsive to the demands of all our communities and has a measurable impact on the lives of our citizens. This will help keep the DIA, its collections, exhibitions, and programs relevant and accessible to all, as our world, interests, and society evolve. I would like to walk into the museum's offices and extraordinary galleries and see that the DIA has become the mirror of our diverse society. The benefits of diversity and inclusion--of everyone working together to consider different voices, perspectives, and backgrounds--are immense and waiting for us to embrace them.

I hope the DIA will establish a clearly defined, dynamic role in our city, our region, and beyond. I envision the DIA as the main square for our community, with transformed grounds that will welcome everyone into a building featuring an interior that will harmoniously relate to its exterior. I believe that people's natural inclination is to come together and that the DIA will provide an extraordinary framework for all. By keeping our DIA relevant and an inspiring place to our diverse communities, we will achieve financial stability with a healthy and large operating endowment.

This is not a dream but an opportunity. We only have to do our jobs the best we can and help each other make the DIA a vital institution for all members of our community. We--staff, volunteers, members, donors, and county residents--are the caretakers of one of the best museums in the world, located in an extraordinary city and region. I look forward to working with each of you in the coming years. I truly believe the best days for the DIA are ahead of us.